The ‘Ancestry’ of Gusto’s new cooking series

Gusto Worldwide Media, Ancestry and Bell Media have partnered on a 16-part series featuring cuisine inspired by people's genetic backgrounds.
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Ottawa’s Gusto Worldwide Media has cooked up a new series in partnership with parent co Bell Media and American genomics company Ancestry.

DNA Dinners (16 x 30 minutes), a collaboration that straddles the line between traditional series and branded content, follows participants as they take an AncestryDNA test to discover their genetic origins and their ancestors’ roots through cuisine and cooking techniques. eTalk reporter Tyrone Edwards will host the show.

The format was created by Gusto Worldwide Media president and CEO Chris Knight and is currently in production in Toronto and Ottawa. The Ancestry partnership was developed through Bell Media’s brand partnerships division, which is helmed by VP Alyson Walker.

Bell Media acquired the rights to the Gusto TV brand in Canada in 2016, and a raft of original series have since been produced, including Minor Renovations, The Search for Canada’s Next Designer and The Urban Vegetarian. Recently, Bell Media said it would rebrand four of its specialty channels, including Gusto, under its CTV banner. The timeline for the rollout of the change has not yet been revealed.

This isn’t the first time Ancestry has created branded TV content for Canadian audiences; last year the company paired with CBC to sponsor the 10-part docuseries Canada: The Story of Us as part of the pubcaster’s Canada 150 programming.

Titles set to join the company’s catalogue include season one of Fish the Dish (15 x 30 minutes), season one of Cook Like a Chef (25 x 30 minutes), The Urban Vegetarian (15 x 30 minutes), Spencer’s Big 30 (13 x 30 minutes) and Flour Power (13 x 30 minutes). Specials set for Pluto TV include Watts Up for the Holidays: Spencer’s Ultimate Christmas Recipes (1 x 60 minutes), Spencer and Robert’s Game Day Buffet (1 x 60 minutes), One World Kitchen Bakes the Holidays (1 x 60 minutes) and One World Kitchen: Our Favourite Holiday Recipes (1 x 60 minutes).